Small Craft On A Milk Sea Brian Eno

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  • 1Emerald and Lime03:02
  • 2Complex Heaven03:05
  • 3Small Craft on a Milk Sea01:48
  • 4Flint March01:55
  • 5Horse03:01
  • 62 Forms of Anger03:14
  • 7Bone Jump02:22
  • 8Dust Shuffle01:53
  • 9Paleosonic04:25
  • 10Slow Ice, Old Moon03:25
  • 11Lesser Heaven03:20
  • 12Calcium Needles03:24
  • 13Emerald and Stone02:12
  • 14Written, Forgotten03:55
  • 15Late Anthropocene07:54
  • Total Runtime48:55

Info for Small Craft On A Milk Sea

Big-time producer, art-rock god, and ambient mastermind Brian Eno returns with his first album for Warp records - surely a marriage made in heaven, with the best electronic label releasing music from the legendary electronic man. Recorded with collaborators Jon Hopkins and Leo Abrahams and taking as inspiration the concept of soundtrack music, this is an expertly crafted, intelligent and also passionate musical essay from one of the true masters of the art form - a seriously stately record, from the craft, breadth and gravity of the music to the sumptuous packaging, this is a glorious addition to an already immense body of work as well as evidence of an undimmed enthusiasm and restless intellect.

"In the early seventies I found myself preferring film soundtracks to most other types of records. What drew me to them was their sensuality and unfinished-ness - in the absence of the film they invited you, the listener, to complete them in your mind. If you hadn't even seen the film, the music remained evocative - like the lingering perfume of somebody who's just left a room you've entered. I heard Nino Rota's Fellini soundtracks often before I saw the films and in listening to them I found I could imagine a whole movie in advance: and though it usually turned out to be nothing much like Fellini's version, it left me with the idea that a music which left itself in some way unresolved engaged the listener in a particularly creative way.

The work in this collection is a result of an occasional collaboration between myself, Leo Abrahams and Jon Hopkins. The two of them are gifted young player/composers whose work, like mine, is intimately connected to the possibilities and freedoms of electronic music. Over the last few years we've worked together several times, enjoying exploring the huge new sonic territories now available to musicians. Mostly the pieces on this album resulted not from 'composition' in the classical sense, but from improvisation. The improvisations are not attempts to end up with a song, but rather with a landscape, a feeling of a place and perhaps the suggestion of an event. In a sense they deliberately lack 'personality': there is no singer, no narrator, no guide as to what you ought to be feeling. If these pieces had been used in films, the film would complete the picture. As they stand, they are the mirror-image of silent movies - sound-only movies.

I am especially pleased to be releasing this new material on Warp, for a long time one of the truly innovative labels. I am pleased to be in the company of many artists whose work I've followed and admired over the years. I look forward to a rewarding relationship." (Brian Eno, September, 2010)

"Brian Eno's best recordings are timeless. Even his great recordings are practically timeless. His recordings after the '80s, however, gradually acquired a different description: dated. Released in 1992, Nerve Net attempted to cross both his ambient and pop records of the '70s with faddish techno, while The Drop invoked his ambient period to a sterilizing effect. (Even ambient records need some ambience.) His work of the 2000s was heavily collaborational, fortunately showing him to be still curious about the varieties of musical expression -- beyond what he's been able to display while producing for U2 and Coldplay. Small Craft on a Milk Sea regains the timeless, ageless feel of his best ambient work. It stands as his first record for Warp, a label that has long worshiped at the altar of headphone electronica, although much of this album is the fruit of sessions originally recorded (but declined) for the Lovely Bones soundtrack; some of it was written and recorded by Eno and frequent collaborator Leo Abrahams while they were touring Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, Eno's 2008 pop album with David Byrne. Warp has been known for quality control for over 20 years, and this one is no different -- it's the best Eno record in 20 years (although that's not saying much). The opener, "Emerald and Lime," is a piece of bright ambience -- as close to a Starbucks soundtrack as a stereotypical Eno work can get. The title track has the dark textures of the later ambient works (Ambient 4: On Land), while the middle section has nods to contemporary electronic music -- "Flint March" is pummeling, percussive techno, and the next track, "Horse," also indulges -- then it's back to opaque, spacious ambience with "Calcium Needles" and "Emerald and Stone." Here too, some tracks have the earthy bass of Ambient 4: On Land, others the formless but inviting void of Discreet Music, still others the heart-stopping piano isolationism of the original Ambient 1: Music for Airports. Eno may be trading on his earlier developments in ambience to a small degree, but Small Craft on a Milk Sea is a good and proper balance of curiosity and expression." (John Bush, AMG)

Leo Abrahams, guitar, laptop
Brian Eno, computers, electronics
Jon Hopkins, piano, keyboards, electronics
Jez Wiles, percussion on "Flint March", "Horse", "2 Forms of Anger", and "Dust Shuffle"

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